The Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC from Leki is the aluminium version of the popular Micro Vario Carbon, and has been replaced by a newer model of LEKI Micro Vario COR-TEC TA featuring the same cork handles and break apart design, but with the added durability of an aluminium shaft and at a slightly more enticing price point.
Naturally, the pole is a touch on the heavy side, but scored well in durability and portability thanks to its tent-pole folding system and aluminium construction. The weight did let the pole down slightly in overall scoring, but the pole remained near the top of the list with a solid 4 out of 5 stars and was unanimously the most comfortable tent-style pole we tested.
We enjoyed the fact that it was a tent-style pole made from aluminium, as often the folding poles tend to be fragile, but this pole from Leki gives hikers the option to trek with a supremely portable pole that can still pack up and fit in their backpack.
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Leki Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC
This aluminium model is portable and durable. The aluminium Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC stood up to our tests better than all the carbon tent-style poles we tested and placed towards the lower end of the aluminium telescoping poles.
The foam portion below the grip has a nice added touch of being textured which gave a better feel than some of the other foam lower portions that have become a staple of this year’s line-up.
While the pole didn’t feature Leki’s new DSS Anti shock technology, the pole was comfortable on hike and the aluminium absorbed shocks well and the rubber inlays in the handle helped dissipate shocks in the hand.
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Usually when writing reviews of tent-style poles we caution against using them for off-trail hikes as the nature of their construction means they have multiple weak points where the individual pieces meet. This coupled with the fact that most tent-poles are made from carbon fibre meant they were never renowned for their durability or longevity. Leki’s choice to introduce an aluminium model has given hikers looking for a portable pole a simple trade-off between weight and durability.
While we still wouldn’t advise taking the Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC on heavy off-trail hikes, we definitely think it will stand up to more repeated use and will last longer than the carbon variants.
The Leki Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC lived up to Leki’s comfort standards and was one of the most comfortable poles in this year’s top 10. The cork grip with rubber inlays was the most ergonomic tested. The top portion of the grip flattens out and allows you to use the pole in a walking stick fashion for very light hiking or walking. The cork itself is the same used in the Corklite and other Leki poles and moulded well to the hand after a few long hikes, while still maintaining its grip.
The pole was the tied heaviest we tested at 567g – largely due to its aluminium shaft and cork/rubber handles. This is unusual for break apart poles which are some of the lightest in the market.
The added weight was well received by our team who thought the improved durability and versatility of the pole offset the heavier weight. With tent-style poles, a bit of added weight can improve the comfortability of the pole and this was the case with the Leki Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC which felt more stable and sturdy on-trail than the lighter carbon poles.
Like Leki’s other break apart poles, the Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC is a three-piece pole that folds down to just 36cm. This placed it firmly in the top position for portability and is one of only a select few poles that can fold down to under 40cm.
Its length makes it perfect for alpine climbing or through hiking where it can be easily slipped into any daypack or backpack when it needs to be packed away – but can also be easily deployed when the need arises.
This pole performed well when it came to versatility thanks to its durable and portable design. It can withstand some off-trail conditions and even a bit of mountaineering thanks to its aluminium build and is perfect for day hikers and travellers thanks to its remarkable portable design.
All-in-all, this pole is well priced for the number of applications you can get out of it. Its only drawback is its weight, but if you can look past this it is one of the best poles produced by Leki this year and offers great value for money.